Davids Calls for Measures to Support Workers and Economy in the U.S. Amid Spread of Coronavirus

March 11, 2020
Press Release

As public health professionals work to contain the spread of coronavirus, Representative Sharice Davids outlined steps that Congress, as well as Kansas’ legislature, could take today to protect the livelihood of workers, families and small businesses across the United States.

“Public health officials are working hard to mitigate and contain the spread of the coronavirus, and that must remain a priority. As policy makers, we have a responsibility to not only address the impact this virus has on public health and safety, but also the impact it has on the financial security of families, workers, and businesses across the country. Today I’m outlining measures that should be taken right now to lessen those impacts and support our families,” said Davids. 

These include:

Medicaid Expansion

Rural hospitals and health clinics – which serve as the first line of defense during public health crises – have been closing across Kansas due to the state’s previous failure to expand Medicaid. The Kansas legislature should build on the progress they’ve made and act quickly to pass a Medicaid expansion bill. It would provide quality, affordable health care for an estimated 150,000 additional Kansans, and provide critical support for rural hospitals to help keep their doors open.

Congress should support this action by passing legislation I’ve long pushed for, the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act, which would increase federal support for states like Kansas that expand Medicaid.  

Paid Sick Leave / Small Business Tax Credits

More than 30 million people in the United States lack access to paid sick leave, many of whom work low-wage jobs that require close contact with the public, like restaurant workers or health care aides. They shouldn’t have to choose between their health and collecting a paycheck that supports their families.

In order to ease financial hardship and reduce the spread of the virus, Congress should support paid sick leave for workers. And in order to support small businesses – which are the backbone of our communities – Congress should implement a paid sick leave tax credit for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Tax Relief

During times of economic uncertainty, it’s often the middle class and vulnerable communities that suffer the most. In any economic package that Congress puts forward, we must prioritize the needs of families and our most vulnerable populations by providing them with tax relief. This helps to put money back into the hands of the people who need it most.

Food Security

Millions of children in the United States receive free or reduced lunches through their public school. If schools shut down across the country, these children risk losing access to food and proper nutrition altogether. Congress should expand SNAP, WIC, school lunch and other initiatives to support families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to feed their children.

“There are many more legislative actions Congress can and should take to mitigate the effects of coronavirus on our families and economy, all of which should focus on protecting the middle class and vulnerable communities. As we move forward, I’m committed to working with members of Congress in both parties, as well as the President, to provide relief to families, support workers and businesses, and ease economic fallout,” continued Davids.